Posted by: PD Warrior | January 23, 2016

Fearing My Face! (The Long and Winding Road Part II

No, it’s not a typo – I didn’t mean to type “facing my fears,” I meant exactly what I said. “Fearing My Face.”

Although in reality, as far as I’m concerned, the two mean exactly the same thing.

You see, everyone with Parkinson’s Disease has something that they fear, whether they want to admit it or not.

For some people it is the uncontorllable movements – either the shaking of hands, limbs, head, caused by the disease. Or perhaps the shaking that for some people, comes as a side effect of some anti-Parkinson medications.

Others may have a fear of falling. Something that is certainly understandable, considering how many people with Parkinson’s that, like me, have an extraordinary ability to fall for no reason at all, seemingly tripping over molecules of air with all the grace and ease of the the Three Stooges and Keystone Kops all wrapped up in one tidy little package. My nickname isn’t “Mr. Clumsy” for nothing. And, as I so often tell my friends and family, I am living proof that Bumbles really do bounce!

Still others fear the “freezing” that so often accompanies the disease. I am not referring to the kind of freezing that comes from low temperatures. But instead the annoying, and at times debilitating sudden inability to move, where your muscles have frozen in time and space until something happens or someone comes along to help “break the freeze.” Luckily for me, I have yet to experience this personally.

Many fear the future in general. Will I be able to continue working? And if so, for how long? Or, how much of a burden will I become to my family? And then there’s the ever popular “which path will this disease take?” Will my symptoms progress quickly, like some people? Or slowly like others? All of which are questions that I have had through the years.

But what I fear most is my face. (I’ll pause for a minute to let the laughter die down.)

Seriously though, my face is a very discomforting thought to me. (Again, you can stop laughing) Not that Parkinson’s is going to suddenly change my oh, so ruggedly handsome facade into something hideous (I heard that!) But instead I worry that I will get what is commonly referred to as the Parkinson’s Mask. The inability to change facial expressions. The inability to smile.

You see, I use humor in everything. I don’t think I can let a second go by without a smart Alec thought, or a tongue in cheek response. Especially when trying to cope with my PD. After all, laughter is the best medicine. And, if I can’t laugh at myself, who can I laugh at? For me, the day that I can not smile will be far, far worse than anything else I ever face as I continue my journey down the “Long and Winding Road.”


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